Episode Reviews

Suburgatory Pilot

While I had little hope that this show would amount to anything based on the lackluster previews, I find that Suburgatory with its harsh and biting humor is probably one of the funniest shows on the air.

Maybe behind a pair of giant synthetic breasts, you can find a giant non synthetic heart.

To be honest, I had very little hope for Suburgatory based on it’s lackluster previews and weak concept. After tonight’s premiere though, I would have to say that I am pleasantly surprised at this spunky comedy and consider it one of the funniest shows on the ABC lineup just behind Modern Family. The first person narrative reminds me of a quirky combination of Scrubs and Better Off Ted with a little less fantasy and insanity and a lot of sarcasm and wit.

Sixteen year old Tessa Altman (Jane Levy) is just an ordinary girl from New York with a loving and divorced father George (Jeremy Sisto). After finding a box of unopened condoms though, George packs up his daughter and moves them out to the suburbs to give her a better life. From the get go, we the viewers get a first person account of this strange new world of the perfect suburbs, filled with “perfect” moms and “perfect” daughters. Its a hilariously terrifying image that reminds of of all the things we love about the terror of The Stepford Wives from a sarcastic teenage point of view.

The various characters in the show, including the outlandish family friend Noah Werner (Alan Tudyk), all have interestingly over the top personalities that are very compelling. Noah is a brainwashed self tanned single man of the town. Dallas Royce (the terrifying Cheryl Hines) is the typical 90% plastic Stepford mother and her daughter Dalia (Carly Chaikin) is the typical zombie blonde. It’s a hilarious stereotype that the show effectively mocks while keeps believable.

I was most surprised by the quality of the wiring on the show so far, with great chemistry between father and daughter as well as a strong sense of self deprecation and general disdain for the world Tessa now resides in. The best shows rely on the quality of the dialog as well as the delivery, and I think this show does a great job of it.

From the outside, it may seem like this is just another teen based comedy, but it is by far much more adult that you would expect. Deep down, it’s a biting social commentary on what we consider perfect and how little things have to go before perfection reaches insanity.

Other Observations

  • Red Bull, especially sugar free, is disgusting, which just adds to the insanity of it all.
  • The Glee Club had a guy in a wheel chair and a few cheerleaders
  • “How to become and emancipated minor” vs “Is Adoption For you?” A bit obvious, but it’s still humorous.
  • “Because of the implants nobody drowns.”
  • “I’m here to get my mom’s pot back?” “I’m sorry, I don’t smoke pot” – Which is funny because the neighbor Lisa is played by Allie Grant who was on Weeds for 5 years.

By Kien Tran

Based in Dallas, Texas, Kien Tran is an avid television enthusiast. After spending hundreds of hours wasting away on a couch, he decided to actually do something creative with his hobby and created this very blog.

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